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18 January 2020 General Membership Meeting Highlights

Katie Hanzeli <khanzeli@...>
 
Edited

WESLEY - LEA HILL FOUNDATION DONATION
Barbara Mattoon shared that we have been meeting in this location for about three years. The room provided suits us very well and when it is not available, Wesley has been very gracious in providing another room in which we can meet. Bernie Dorsey, representing the Wesley Foundation, received from SKCGS, a check for $500.00 in thanks for their support. 


SURVEY - SEPTEMBER 2019
In the Survey conducted last September, it was requested that we have a 15 minute, hands on, educational or tech session before the regular meeting. The Board is mystified as to what topics the Membership would like in this 15 minutes. Members are asked to submit their requests of topics and the Board will implement the suggestion. 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE
MaryLynn Strickland, as the Member at Large, is the head of this committee. Michelle Lyons has volunteered to help. MaryLynn would like one more person. This year, we are replacing two officers, Vice President and Secretary. If you would like to be nominated for one of these positions, please see MaryLynn. 

VOLUNTEERS REQUESTED
Barbara Mattoon shared that it takes a lot of people to run an organization like ours. No volunteer needs to be an experienced genealogist. She, herself, went to a past president (Janet Camarata) and asked what she could do. If you’d like to do something, please tell Barbara. She will help you find the right niche for you. 


Sale of Seattle NARA is proposed; action needed!

 

See Judy Russell's blogpost for more detail: 


Here is an excerpt:

The Records Preservation and Access Committee — jointly comprised of representatives from all the major national genealogical societies — has joined in opposing the move: “If a decision is made to sell the property, the National Archives Branch needs to be relocated into another facility in the Seattle area. Each National Archives Branch includes original documents from the region that are available at no other location and have not been digitized. If the Archives Branch were closed and not relocated, it is our understanding the records would be moved to Kansas City, Missouri (1,800 miles from Seattle) or Riverside, California, (1,200 miles from Seattle). Either location would make those records inaccessible to most residents of the northwestern United States.”2
 
And historians, researchers and others in the Pacific Northwest are just appalled.3
 
A final decision on this building sale could be made by the Office of Management and Budget as early as this Sunday, January 26th. If there’s any chance for us to be heard, we need to speak out NOW.
 
The Legal Genealogist would love to tell members of our community concerned about this where to write to express their own individual concerns — and our outrage at this decision and its secrecy. But there’s no clear path to comment on this because of the secrecy.
 
So here are our options:
1. Write (email) to the head of the Office of Management and Budget, acting director Russell T. Vought. His email is Russell.t.vought@....
2. Write (email) to the agency proposing the sale of the property, the Public Buildings Reform Board. Its email is fastainfo@....
3. Contact the National Archives via its contact page at https://www.archives.gov/contact.
4. Contact your United States Senators (find the contact info for your two senators at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm) and your member of the House of Representatives (find the contact info for your representative at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative).
 
The one option we do not have is to stand silent.
 
Access to our heritage is at stake.


NARA in Seattle

 

Rich just sent this link to me:


Please report back here what replies you get when you call or write about this. Your responses will remind the rest of the readers here that our voices count.

Valorie


Free Webinar

 

I recommend D. Joshua Taylor's webinar "New Tools and Ideas in Research.  It is still free at Legacy Family Tree Webinars.


Re: Free Webinar

 

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 1:45 PM Barbara Mattoon <bmattoon@...> wrote:
I recommend D. Joshua Taylor's webinar "New Tools and Ideas in Research.  It is still free at Legacy Family Tree Webinars.


Thanks, Barbara!

Valorie 


Re: Free Webinar

 

This webinar is free until the 29th, folks. I'm just finishing it up now, and it really is worth your time. Josh Taylor is great!

https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1217


South King County Genealogy Society Blog

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South King County Genealogy Society Blog

South King County Genealogical Society’s February News and Activities

Posted: 27 Jan 2020 02:00 PM PST

White River Valley MuseumOur soggy Puget Sound weather may have you seeking a warm, dry indoor activity. If so, I recommend a visit to the White River Valley Museum. It is conveniently located adjacent to the Auburn Public Library. You might even combine a research trip to the genealogy section of the Library with a visit to the museum.

This small museum features high-quality exhibits including one about the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (the original settlers of this region), a replica of a 1915 Japanese farmhouse and an exhibit about downtown Auburn in the 1920s.  The museum also features an extensive oral history collection and over 13,000 photographs.[1]  Several historic newspapers of the area are available to search online, and the extensive library of books and newspapers is open to researchers.[2]

Family Tree Maker User GroupBack across the parking lot to the KCLS Library, the FamilyTree Maker Users Group will meet there Saturday, February 1, from 10:15 – 11:45 am.  Contact Winona Laird at vice-president@... for more information. 
Ancestry.com available FREEDid you know that if you do not have a subscription to Ancestry.com, you can access it with your King County Library card on your personal device at any King County Library. There are many other databases you might find useful in your research as well. I urge you to take advantage of this benefit. “Use it, or lose it”.

SKCGS Board of Directors MeetTuesday, February 4, the Board of Directors will meet at the Valley Regional Fire Authority, 1101 D St NE, Auburn, at 7:00 pm.  All members are welcome and urged to attend, but only Board Members may vote.  These meetings are where you really learn what makes SKCGS tick.  You might even learn about something you would be interested in helping with. 
Genetic Genealogy/DNA GroupThe Genetic Genealogy/DNA Group has scheduled a workshop session on using Ancestry.com’s ThruLines™. If you have tested with Ancestry and have a family tree linked to your test, bring your laptop, and be sure to remember your password to log in at Ancestry. We will help you look for ancestors using ThruLines. The workshop will be held at WAPI, 28815 Pacific Hwy S., Suite 7A, Federal Way from 1 – 3 pm.
Midori Okazaki presents A Glimpse of the ArchivesOn Saturday, February 15, Midori Okazaki, Archivist at the Puget Sound Regional Archives returns for an encore presentation at Wesley Lea Hill from 9:30 – noon. It will be a good refresher on the use of archives for those of us who have heard her before, and information you can use, for those who have not.


Puget Sound Regional Archives

Following Midori’s presentation, Valorie Zimmerman will present a 15-minute hands-on workshop on the use and benefits of Twitter for genealogy.
Technology User Group (TUG)Practice all you have learned on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, because Monday afternoon MaryLynn Strickland will share how to use Randy Majors’ AncestorSearch on Google Search and time permitting, some of his other tools.  This gathering will also be at WAPI.  Thank you MaryLynn for making this resource available for our special interest groups. 


2020 GoalsI have received several comments about my 2020 Goals post last December.  

Here is an update: Bingo! I have found a clue to the identity of the parents of Almira Tyler. More analysis and research are needed , but the results so far are very promising. Like many of you, I have always resisted looking at online trees, but I gave it a try and that is where I found the clue.  

I have read four chapters of The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. It is not always easy going, but I recommend it for anyone who is serious about genealogy. The goal of reading a journal article each week fell by the wayside after the second one.  I have not yet done a chapter of Mastering Genealogical Documentation, but I have a week to go in January, and I have been busy writing genealogical documentation. 
Nomination CommitteeAs announced at the January meeting, the Nominations Committee is actively seeking candidates for the offices of Vice President and Secretary. Contact MaryLynn or Michele Lyons if you are willing to serve.  

Thank you to Joy Etienne for joining the Education Committee!

Happy Hunting!


Barbara Mattoon

SKCGS President

---------
[1] wrvmuseum.pastperfectonline.com

[2] wrvmuseum.org/newspaper-search


SKCGS: February events and news

Valorie Zimmerman
 
Edited



This month is not only full of Society events but it starts right in on the first of February! Not only Valentine's Day, but also Mardi Gras and RootsTech are in February. 

Saturday February 1, 10:15 – 11:45 am the FamilyTree Maker Users Group will meet at the Auburn Library.  Contact Winona Laird at vice-president@... for more | http://skcgs.org/ugroups/ftm/ftmug.html

Tuesday, February 4, the SKCGS Board of Directors will meet at the Valley Regional Fire Authority, 1101 D St NE, Auburn, at 7:00 pm. All members are welcome to attend; only Directors vote.

Friday, February 7 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm the German Interest Group (EGS) meets  in the Relief Society Room, 10675 NE 20th St., Bellevue. Topic: More German Church and Civil Record Tips | https://wasgs.org/blog/2020/01/19/the-german-interest-group-of-the-eastside-genealogical-society-february-2020/

Monday, February 10 from 1 – 3 pm the Genetic Genealogy/DNA Group has scheduled a workshop session on using Ancestry.com’s ThruLines™ at WAPI, 28815 Pacific Hwy S., Suite 7A, Federal Way. If you have tested with Ancestry and have a family tree linked to your test, bring your laptop, and be sure to remember your password to log in at Ancestry. Please reread this blog post in advance: https://skcgs.blogspot.com/2019/12/success-with-ancestrys-thrulines.html

Saturday, February 15 from 9:30 am - noon, Midori Okazaki, Archivist at the Puget Sound Regional Archives, presents A Glimpse of the Archives to the SKCGS membership and visitors. See skcgs.org for more information.

Monday, February 17 from 1 – 3 pm the Technology User Group meets at WAPI Community Services, 28815 Pacific Hwy S, Suite 7A. Topic: Ancestor Search, Randy Major's tool which makes Google work for you! Bring the names of people you want to search and read this blog post in advance: https://skcgs.blogspot.com/2019/12/have-you-tried-ancestorsearch-on-google.html

Thursday, February 20 at 12:30 – 2:30 pm the Legacy Family Tree Interest Group meets in the Relief Society Room, 10675 NE 20th St., Bellevue

Friday, February 21 from 1 - 3 pm the Research Group will meet at the Kent Family History Center, 12817 SE 256th St, Kent. Please RSVP to Winona Laird at vice-president@... if you will be attending.

All through the month, our volunteers will be in local libraries, ready to help you at our GenHelpDesks. 


====

Saturday, June 6, 2020 : Who Does Your DNA Think You Are? with Diahan Southard | http://skcgs.org/2020-seminar.html



Like us on Facebook | Read our Blog | Follow us on Twitter | SKCGS.org 


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REMINDER: JGSWS Meeting - 10 February 2020 - Success Stores from Around the World AND Finding Vital Records in New York City Using Online Resources

 


FYI

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Mary Kathryn Kozy <genmail@...>
Date: Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 6:59 PM
Subject: REMINDER: JGSWS Meeting - 10 February 2020 - Success Stores from Around the World AND Finding Vital Records in New York City Using Online Resources


    Jewish Genealogical Society
            of Washington State

 

 

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State proudly presents:

 

Success Stories from Around the World: The Rewards of Finding Ancestors, Relatives, and Records

by JGSWS Members

 

AND

 

Finding Vital Records in New York City Using Online Resources: Solving a Mystery and Finding a Relative You Didn’t Know You Had

by Linda Deneroff, JGSWS Treasurer and board member


DATE: Monday, February 10, 2020

LDS Factoria Building

4200 124th Ave SE

Bellevue, WA  98006

·       The doors at the LDS Building will open at 6:30 p.m., and our extensive library of genealogical resources, including FREE access to the FHC computers and genealogical websites!

·       Free Wi-Fi available. Come early to view them and to network with other attendees!

·       Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 p.m.

·       Free admission and refreshments

 

ABOUT OUR TWO-PART PROGRAM     

“Success Stories from Around the World:  The Rewards of Finding Ancestors, Relatives and Records” will be presented by several JGSWS members and will include information about their family history research, their trips to the “old country,” resources they used, obstacles they overcame, and the new ancestors, living descendants and DNA cousins they found. You will hear about the rewards of their research and the additional motivation these breakthroughs can bring.

“Finding Vital Records in New York City Using Online Resources: Solving a Mystery and Finding a Relative You Didn’t Know You Had” will be presented by Linda Deneroff, JGSWS Treasurer and board member, and will show how one can find vital records in New York City! You will first learn how to use one genealogical society website with search features to find your ancestors’ vital records certificate numbers. Then, by using that number on another genealogical database website, to find the actual vital record documents! From Linda’s presentation, you will come away with knowledge about the websites that can help you locate information that will lead you to the vital record documents you need. Using her own family research as an example, Linda will explain to you the mystery she solved and a relative she found, one she didn’t know she had!

 

Please visit our website at http://www.jgsws.org to join or to donate to JGSWS to help support the incredible speakers and workshops we bring to you, to view library listings, download handouts, or for more information. JGSWS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. Membership dues and donations are tax deductible.


New files uploaded to Society@SKCGS.groups.io

Society@SKCGS.groups.io Notification <Society+notification@...>
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that the following files have been uploaded to the Files area of the Society@SKCGS.groups.io group.

Uploaded By: Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman@...>

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The Groups.io Team


Hello

MARYLYNN STRICKLAND
 

Hello to all members of this group.  I hope we can all learn how to communicate through this media.

 

Please feel free to ask for help to post or answer posts as you need.

 

MaryLynn Strickland

GG/DNA group

Tech Users Group

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


Volunteers needed #volunteer-opportunity

 

Hello friends,

As you know our 2020 Seminar is rapidly approaching. One of the ways we want to spread the word is through Facebook. One of our Board members (thanks, Michele!) has taken the time to compile a list of Facebook groups of genealogy societies and similar groups who might have members interested in attending. Here is the idea:

We'd like to post a message on many Facebook pages and groups in our tri-state area spreading the word about our Seminar to those who may want to make hotel reservations and other arrangements in advance. Diahan Southard is a respected DNA expert and we'd love to have a large audience to learn from her in June. 
 
We have the text written; all you will need to do is copy /paste it into the Facebook pages or groups in your list. Please respond and tell us how many groups you can do. We have about 377 groups to send to, so if 15 people volunteer to do 30 each, we can have this done soon! I think this can be easy; 5 or 10 groups as you are watching TV. 

You can reply here or privately as you prefer. 

Valorie


Re: Volunteers needed #volunteer-opportunity

Katie Hanzeli <khanzeli@...>
 

I’ll do a few if you give me directions and a list.
Katie

On Feb 1, 2020, at 12:49 AM, Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman@...> wrote:

Hello friends,

As you know our 2020 Seminar is rapidly approaching. One of the ways we want to spread the word is through Facebook. One of our Board members (thanks, Michele!) has taken the time to compile a list of Facebook groups of genealogy societies and similar groups who might have members interested in attending. Here is the idea:

We'd like to post a message on many Facebook pages and groups in our tri-state area spreading the word about our Seminar to those who may want to make hotel reservations and other arrangements in advance. Diahan Southard is a respected DNA expert and we'd love to have a large audience to learn from her in June.

We have the text written; all you will need to do is copy /paste it into the Facebook pages or groups in your list. Please respond and tell us how many groups you can do. We have about 377 groups to send to, so if 15 people volunteer to do 30 each, we can have this done soon! I think this can be easy; 5 or 10 groups as you are watching TV.

You can reply here or privately as you prefer.

Valorie


Diahan Southard Free Webinar this week

 

Good chance to check her out in advance of  our June 2020 Seminar:


Valorie

PS: If you have not yet registered for the seminar, see http://skcgs.org/seminar.html


Re: Diahan Southard Free Webinar this week

 


But please don't skip the Board meeting to watch it.  It will still be available on Wednesday.

Barbara

From: Society@SKCGS.groups.io <Society@SKCGS.groups.io> on behalf of Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 4:26 PM
To: South King County Genealogy Society <WA-SKGS@...>; Society@skcgs.groups.io <Society@skcgs.groups.io>
Subject: [SKCGS] Diahan Southard Free Webinar this week
 
Good chance to check her out in advance of  our June 2020 Seminar:


Valorie

PS: If you have not yet registered for the seminar, see http://skcgs.org/seminar.html


Re: Diahan Southard Free Webinar this week

 

Good point! I see little point to watching live unless you have questions you want to ask. -v


On Sun, Feb 2, 2020 at 4:28 PM Barbara Mattoon <bmattoon@...> wrote:

But please don't skip the Board meeting to watch it.  It will still be available on Wednesday.

Barbara

From: Society@SKCGS.groups.io <Society@SKCGS.groups.io> on behalf of Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 4:26 PM
To: South King County Genealogy Society <WA-SKGS@...>; Society@skcgs.groups.io <Society@skcgs.groups.io>
Subject: [SKCGS] Diahan Southard Free Webinar this week
 
Good chance to check her out in advance of  our June 2020 Seminar:


Valorie

PS: If you have not yet registered for the seminar, see http://skcgs.org/seminar.html


South King County Genealogy Society Blog

South King County Genealogy Society Blog <noreply+feedproxy@...>
 

South King County Genealogy Society Blog

Puzzilla?

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 09:00 AM PST

Recently a short YouTube Family History Fanatics video about Puzzilla popped up which seemed interesting, so I searched a bit and found Use Puzzilla.org to Find Genealogy Research Opportunities on FamilySearch.org and the website Puzzilla.org itself.


What I like about it is that it can be used for analysis and it is beautiful. It's sometimes difficult to show our research in a way that interests family members. Puzzilla is attractive and interactive as well as useful. 

There is a paid version which is available for use at some Family History Centers. Next Research Workshop, I plan to check it out and see how much more there is!

I played with both the ancestor and descendants function. First, the ancestors of my grandson Oscar:
Grandson Oscar's ancestors: some work to do!
Son of our immigrant from the Alsace, Casper Baysinger's descendants:
Beautiful, don't you think?

Gorgeous! but it's not so pretty when there are few descendants, or the research hasn't been done.

Family Locket has a post about how to use the site for LDS purposes, however anyone using FamilySearch.org (and every researcher should!) 

It's fun, it's free, and it helps you focus your work. Try it out!


Valorie Zimmerman


NEHGS: The Weekly Genealogist, February 5, 2020

Katie Hanzeli <khanzeli@...>
 

Please note the mention of the Whidbey Island Genealogical Society under “Spotlight.”
Katie

Begin forwarded messag

From: New England Historic Genealogical Society <weeklygenealogist@...>
Subject: The Weekly Genealogist, February 5, 2020
Date: February 5, 2020 at 2:46:07 AM PST

The Weekly Genealogist 
Author Event: The Role of Fast Food in Black America
On Tuesday, February 11, author Marcia Chatelain will discuss her new book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, with Leah Wright Rigueur of Harvard Kennedy School. Taking us from the troubled years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to the conflict in Ferguson, Franchise explores the connections between McDonald's, civil rights, and black capitalism.

Marcia Chatelain is a professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University, and a leading public voice on the history of race, education, and food culture. Leah Wright Rigueur's research expertise includes 20th-century U.S. political and social history and modern African American history, with an emphasis on race, political ideology, and civil rights.

At 3 p.m. that day, Callie Crossley of WGBH News will interview Professor Chatelain at the WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library. You can watch the live stream on our Facebook page. 

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
Tuesday, February 11, 6-7 p.m.
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston

Return to Table of Contents
Catching up with Vita Brevis
by Scott C. Steward, NEHGS Editor-in-Chief
Vita Brevis, the NEHGS blog, offers essays by the Society's expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical community. Here's a roundup of blog posts for January:

Danielle Cournoyer began the month with one of the year's twin themes: 2020 marks the 175th birthday of NEHGS as well as the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth. Danielle's post considered the enormous change between the Beacon Hill of 1845, when NEHGS was established in in Court Square, and the Boston of 2020. James Heffernan offered the first Mayflower post of the year, contemplating his extensive Mayflower ancestry and wondering why almost none of his Plymouth forebears strayed far from Cape Cod; Michael Dwyer took up the challenge of a genealogical identification that keeps (ma)lingering at Wikipedia; Jeff Record finished his three-part consideration of a Victorian great-great-great-aunt whose first and last names changed via marriage and by choice; Georgiana Day told the story of the early NEHGS President Marshall Pinckney Wilder, famous for both his horticultural and genealogical interests; Chris Child continued his series of Billington vignettes with more on the hapless Francis Billington; Pam Holland ventured between New York, Marburg (in Germany), and Cleveland in search of her Dauber great-great-grandfather; Helen Herzer recalled the visionary efforts of NEHGS volunteer Neil B. Todd in saving the Massachusetts vital record indices; in an echo of Michael Dwyer's post earlier in the month, Alicia Crane Williams lamented the tenacity with which certain Mayflower "facts" remain current, even after repeated debunking; Eileen Pironti described the career of NEHGS's first elected member, the Rev. Dr. Lucius Robinson Paige, an important nineteenth-century scholar as well as the oldest living member of NEHGS at the time of his death in 1896; Hallie Borstel compared modern iterations of seventeenth-century ships, on some of which she has crewed (and none of which could be as uncomfortable and cramped as the original Mayflower); Amy Whorf McGuiggan tracked the movements of the young Peter Ourish, only nineteen when he died of his wounds in 1864 following the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (in Hanover County, Virginia); Jennica Bayne described some of the history of the NEHGS Committee on Heraldry, founded in February 1864; and I looked for some college records to add biographical elements to the lives of earlier generations of my family. 

Return to Table of Contents
Database News
by Molly Rogers, Database Coordinator
This week we're highlighting updates to two of our journal databases. We've added Volume 63 (2014) to Mayflower Descendant, an essential source of information on many New England families, not just those with Mayflower lineage. We've also added Volume 40 (2015) to Rhode Island Roots. This publication features Rhode Island records including cemetery and tax lists, General Assembly petitions, civil and military records, and genealogical articles.

Spotlight: Whidbey Island, Washington
by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor
Whidbey Island is located in Puget Sound, north of Seattle. It is the largest island in Island County, Washington. The Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island's website provides a number of research resources under the "Island County Data" tab. 

Island County Data 
This section provides local census data for 1870, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890, and 1892; Island County death certificate information (1907-1952); and indexes to five local history books.

Business Bios 
This database of transcribed biographies of business men and women is drawn from the 1933 Farm Bureau News, a publication of the Island County Farm Bureau.

Island County Obituaries 
More than 23,000 obituaries of Island County residents published in local newspapers from 1890 through 2010 can be searched or browsed by last name. Click the name link to view the obituary.

Island County Cemeteries 
The nearly 11,000 cemetery records in this database can be searched by last name. Data fields in the search results include cemetery name, grave location, the deceased's name, date born, date died, and inscription. Click the "Sel" (select) and then "View Gravesites in the Same Section" for neighboring graves. The main page provides a list of all Island County cemeteries included in the database. Click a cemetery name to learn more about it. 

Free Webinar
An Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Records Project update.
Featured Podcast
A lively discussion of genealogical news and discoveries.
NEHGS Program  
Learn from our experts at Genealogical Boot Camp.
The Weekly Genealogist Survey
Last week's survey asked if anyone in your family received a major inheritance or windfall. 3,684 responses were received. The results are:
  • 38%, Yes
  • 49%, No
  • 13%, I don't know.
 
This week's survey asks about your connection to fraternal or sororal organizations. Take the survey now! 

Want to share your thoughts on the survey with us? We are always happy to hear from our readers. Email us at weeklygenealogist@.... Responses may be edited for clarity and length and featured in a future newsletter.

Return to Table of Contents
Readers Respond: Major Inheritances and Windfalls
By Lynn Betlock, Editor
Last week's survey asked if anyone in your family received a major inheritance or financial windfall. Thank you to everyone who replied. Below is a selection of reader responses.

Marcy Fuller of Westbrook, Connecticut: When Louis T. Lehmeyer died in a charity hospital in Manhattan on November 21, 1923, everyone thought he was penniless. Imagine the surprise of my grandmother, Elizabeth R. Wurthmann, a 21-year-old schoolteacher, when his will revealed that she had inherited over $500,000. Louis had been the best friend of my grandmother's grandfather back in Germany. This news made the front page in New York City and elsewhere for weeks.

Donna Mack of Columbia, Maryland: My mother-in-law received a small financial bequest from her first cousin. This cousin died owning land in Los Angeles but had no immediate heirs. A company traced all the possible heirs and my mother-in-law received a share of the inheritance. She and my father-in law used the money to take a cruise. The company shared all the genealogical data they collected with the heirs. Years later, a woman who shared DNA with my husband contacted us looking for her biological mother. Having this data helped us to identify her mother, who was the cousin who had died in L.A. The cousin was unmarried when she became pregnant and had been thrown out of her home. An aunt agreed to take her in but not the baby, so the baby was given up for adoption. We gave this new cousin photos of her mother and uncle as children and information on her mother's burial site. We are so happy to know this cousin. The connection is far more precious than any monetary inheritance.

Tracy Ellis of Edmond, Oklahoma: My husband's ancestor, Charles Monroe Ellis, was supposedly set to inherit millions in a lawsuit against the Trinity Church Corporation in Manhattan. The local Sedan, Kansas, newspaper reported in 1890 that Charles and other relatives filed suit that year. Lawsuits by others have continued to the present. Charles was supposedly a distant relative of Robert Edwards, a pirate who was awarded 77 acres in Manhattan by Queen Anne (1665-1714) for disrupting Spanish sea lanes. Edwards wanted to remain at sea, so the land was leased for 99 years to brothers John and George Cruger, who leased it to Trinity Church. Trinity Church has fended off many lawsuits through the years by countless Edwards descendants who were hampered by lost documents, corrupt lawyers, lack of funding, and the statute of limitations. Ah, the windfall! So close . . . yet so far.

Roger Hinckley of Morton, Pennsylvania: I laughed about this survey! As I am the family member doing genealogical research, I am constantly asked whether anyone left us any money. My pat answer is, "No, but I have been contacted by bill collectors!" 
 
You Can Help Educational Programming
Our free webinars, public lectures, and outreach programs bring the knowledge of our experts to the world. Your support has enabled us to introduce high school students to genealogy, to teach new and curious researchers how to begin their family trees, and to host the brightest genealogists of our time in free programs. 

Your gift to our Annual Fund supports this important work. Help us share the joy of family history with researchers of all ages and levels by supporting American Ancestors' educational programs today! Thank you. 

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Stories of Interest
Open Since 1641...
Judy Russell, "the Legal Genealogist," describes a new proposed Massachusetts house bill and reports that "public access to vital records in Massachusetts is under attack." The proposed changes are also explained in a Boston.com article, "Charlie Baker Wants to Restrict Access to Birth, Death, and Marriage Records." 

The Monumental Undertaking of Moving into an Old Masonic Temple
"The 20,000-square-foot house requires endless renovations, but the ceiling is high enough to fly a drone inside."

Thoughts on the Past -- and the Future -- from Nine 100-Year-Old Mainers
To launch their yearlong celebration of 200 years of Maine statehood, Down East Magazine teamed up with Maine Public Radio to interview some Maine centenarians.
 
Archaeologists Unearth Trove of Medieval Artifacts in London Cesspit
"Excavations at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London have revealed a nearly 15-foot deep cesspit littered with roughly one hundred artifacts dating to the 14th and 15th centuries."

The Belgrade Book Collection That Survived War, Fascism, and Neglect
"One family has kept it going -- and growing -- since 1720."

It Started with a Signature in a Children's Spelling Book
Author David Hampshire was intrigued by a signature in an 1862 speller acquired at a used book sale. He decided to research the booklet's original owner.   

Leveraging DNA in Your Family History Research
Not too late to register! 

Whether you're completely new to DNA testing or you have already taken a DNA test, this online course will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to interpret your results, make important genealogical connections, and take your family history research to the next level. Register today!

It's in the Genes: Leveraging DNA in Your Family History Research
Presented by Christopher C. Child and Pam Holland
Wednesdays, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, and 2/19, 6-7:30 p.m. EST
Access recordings, handouts, slides, and more until May 31, 2020.

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Heroes--Challenges and Opportunities

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 09:57 AM PST

Year of Anniversaries2020--Have you noticed that there are some momentous anniversaries this year?  The Mayflower landed at Plymouth in 1620--400 years ago!  Do you have Mayflower ancestors?  Are you planning to attend any Mayflower celebrations?

A bit closer to present day is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment--Women's Suffrage.  Did you have an ancestor involved with that struggle for equality?

There are many other anniversaries this year--75 years from the end of World War II, 40 years after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens,  You can probably name many more and please do!

Do you have a hero, of either gender, someone you admire for his or her contribution to an eventful struggle? Or did an event impact you or your family?  Here is a challenge and an opportunity to honor a person or relate an event--write a paragraph or two and submit it here for publication.

Here is an example of my hero connected to the Women's Suffrage Movement and the 19th Amendment:  Excerpts are from History, Art & Archives, United States House of Representatives
January 10, 2018 blog.
Women's Suffrage
Jeannette Rankin
Library of Congress
Online Catalog (1,097,897)

"It was no accident—nor mere symbolism—that on January 10, 1918, a woman led the effort on the floor of the U.S. House to pass the landmark resolution for a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. The first such proposal had been introduced in Congress almost 50 years earlier, but it was Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve on Capitol Hill, who steadily built support in the House for women's voting rights throughout the 65th Congress (1917–1919)."1  

Born in Montana 1880, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman in the US House of Representatives, elected in 1916 to represent the State of Montana, four years before passage of the 19th Amendment.  At that point 41 states had granted women's suffrage but national elections were not yet included.  President Woodrow Wilson felt the issue was best left to states to address.  The night before the suffrage legislation was to begin debate in the House, he announced his support for the amendment as "an act of right and justice" and a "war measure."

January 10, 1918, when the suffrage debate began, people arrived early to get a seat in the House Gallery.  Many were women who came prepared for a long debate by bringing their lunches and knitting materials.

The measure was presented by Rep. John E. Raker, California Democrat.
As Raker approached a lectern to open debate, Massachusetts Republican Joseph Walsh, a suffrage opponent, suddenly asked, “Would it interfere seriously with your plans if you were to let Miss Rankin open the debate?” Raker immediately yielded to Rankin.
She began by invoking American women leaders of note: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Clara Barton, Mary Livermore, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frances Willard, Lucy Stone, Jane Addams, and others—“all have asked the Government to permit women to serve more effectively the national welfare.” Noting that this issue now came up in time of war, Rankin asked that women be given the chance to serve their nation. “As never before the Nation needs its women—needs the work of their hands and their hearts and their minds,” she said. 
To those who believed the issue should be left to the states, she had a simple message. “We mobilized and equipped our Army not State by State but through Congress,” she reminded them. “Shall our women, our home defense, be our only fighters in the struggle for democracy who shall be denied Federal action?” In the war for democracy, everyone was committed—not just those men at the front but the farmer growing crops, the seamstress making uniforms, and the miner extracting copper from deep underground.
She concluded her remarks to sustained applause. “Can we afford to allow these men and women to doubt for a single instant the sincerity of our protestations of democracy? How shall we answer their challenge, gentlemen; how shall we explain to them the meaning of democracy if the same Congress that voted for war to make the world safe for democracy refuses to give this small measure of democracy to the women of our country?”2
You can read the complete blog at the following link.
  https://history.house.gov/Blog/2018/January/1-10-Suffrage-Committee/ 

Rep. Rankin voted against U S entry into WWI and in December, 1941 she voted against U S entry into WWII.  She has the distinction of being the only representative to vote against entry for both wars.

In the early 1960s  Jeanette Rankin spoke at a student assembly that I attended at Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana.  I don't remember what she said, only that I was impressed by her.
Challenge!So, accept this challenge; take this opportunity and



     Write
     Write
      Write


Submit your paragraphs to blog editor.  Please use a word processing program and include small file copyright-free pictures if possible.  Check for images at the Library of Congress: loc.gov  if necessary.

Is your story only one paragraph long?  No problem, we can publish more than one at a time.

MaryLynn Strickland




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